The History of Rua Augusta Arch
Marquis de Pombal, the prime minister of the time who was assigned to re-design Praça do Comércio after the Great Earthquake, made the planning of Rua Augusta Arch but it was only later started to be built in 1862 and completed in 1875. The arch stands as a symbol of the rebirth of Lisbon after the destruction of the earthquake.
The Architecture of Rua Augusta Arch
The arch features sculptors of different sculptors. The colossal and allegoric figures like “Gloria crowning Genius and Value” at the top of the arch are the works of the French sculptor Anatole Calmels. Below these allegoric figures, there are historical figures sculpted by the Portuguese sculptor Vítor Bastos. These historical figures are Marquis de Pombal, the prime minister who rebuilt the Praça do Comércio; Portugese explorer Vasco de Gama and Nuno Álvares Pereira and Viriatus, the general who resisted the Roman conquest.
The inscription in Latin “virtvtibvs maiorvm” means “the greatest virtues”. Those virtues stand for the resilience of the Portuguese people after the devastation of the Great Earthquake and tsunami.
The Views from Rua Augusta Arch
Rua Augusta Arch will make you go through an unforgettable panorama experience. You can look over to the symmetrical details around Praça do Comércio. On the south side, you will see the River Tagus. You will find the view of the famous Baixa street to the north. To the west, you can see the Barrio Alto district as well as ruins of the Convento do Carmo. On the east side, you will find a view of Alfama, Lisbon Castle and the Lisbon Cathedral (the Sé).
If you are there during the summer, you can watch a light show or a video about Portuguese history projected on the Rua Augusta Arch.
How to Reach Rua Augusta Arch
Rua Augusta Arch is easily accessible from Praça do Comércio, you just need to go across the street from the southern end.
Metro: Take the line “L” (blue line). The nearest stations are Cais do Sodre, Rossio and Baixa-Chiado.
Tram: You can take the line 28.
Bus: You can take one of these lines: 728, 737, 735, 759, 794.
Visiting Hours: 9 am-7 pm (Last admission is 15 minutes before the closing time).
Entrance fee: 3.6 Euro (Free of charge for children up to 5 years old)